Animal activity licensing

If you carry out business or an activity involving animals, you may need a licence.

You will require an 'animal activity licence' if you:

  • sell animals as pets
  • provide for, or arrange for the provision of boarding for cats or dogs (including boarding in kennels, catteries, home boarding for dogs and day care for dogs)
  • hire out horses (whether for riding lessons or not)
  • breed dogs
  • breed, keep or train animals for exhibition (including performance)

There is also a business threshold test which applies if you earn more than £1,000 or earn a commission or fee from one of the specified business activities. This also means that if you breed dogs and earn more than £1000 you will need a licence - even if this is from just one litter. 

These guidance documents explain the standards you need to comply with, before a licence is granted or renewed.

Guidance and information can also be found on the Canine and Feline Sector Group website.

Animal licensing fees and associated fees

  • single licence activity - £323
  • additional licence activity - £86
  • enforcement visit (unannounced visit during term of licence) - £72
  • re-rate inspection (full cost recovery) / reinstatement after suspension - £209
  • appeal fee (unless re-inspection gives higher rating) - £209
  • lost licence / duplicate licence - £33
  • variation that involves further inspection - £209
  • variation of licence (admin only) - £33
  • vets fees - the applicant or licence holder will be invoiced the amount determined by the vet following the inspection

Please note that all fees are subject to a percentage increase on a yearly basis.

How to apply

Please make sure you complete:

  • part 1 general information
  • part 2 for each licensed activity you are applying for
  • part 3 the declaration

We will not be able to process your application unless all three parts and completed.

If our documents are not accessible to you, you can request a different format here.
Part 1 Introductory section Word (Word 49 KB)
Part 2 Animal boarding dogs and cats Word (Word 49 KB)
Part 2 Breeding and sale of dogs Word (Word 50 KB)
Part 2 Hiring out horses Word (Word 52 KB)
Part 2 Performing animals Word (Word 52 KB)
Part 2 Pet vending Word (Word 52 KB)
Part 3 Declaration Word (Word 44 KB)

Send your completed application forms by email to

Please call us on 01246 345160 to make your payment by debit card over the phone. 

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We deal with animal licensing under the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) England Regulations 2018.

Last updated on 08 April 2024